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(L4 - VSS) KEYNOTE: UDL and Online Learning: The Importance of Choosing and Using Accessible Technology

Presenter: Terrill Thompson, University of Washington & DO-IT Center

Abstract: Educators have many options when choosing technologies they can use to enhance online teaching and learning. But how can we ensure the technologies we're choosing and using will enhance education for everyone, and not erect barriers for groups of students with certain characteristics? This session will explore the current landscape of technology accessibility in higher education, and will identify strategies for effecting change on college campuses. The interdependent roles of all stakeholders will be discussed, and participants will leave with action items for getting started.

Audience: The proposed session is intended for all audience. In fact, a key part of my message is that everyone has a role to play in making education more accessible including policy administrators, procurement staff, Web developers and designers, IT specialists and programmers

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to describe at least three accessibility problems that are caused by poorly designed education technologies.
  • Participants will be able to describe at least three strategies for addressing technology accessibility problems at higher education institutions.
  • Participants will be able to identify at least one specific step that they personally can take to improve technology accessibility following the conference.

Biography: Terrill Thompson is technology accessibility specialist with the University of Washington. In this role, he works to promote information technology accessibility by giving trainings, developing resources, providing consultation and support, and conducting research. He does this for the UW community as part of UW-IT Accessible Technology Services (, and does it for the rest of the world through The DO-IT Center (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, & Technology, Terrill has twenty years experience in the IT accessibility field, and has presented at numerous conferences and consulted widely with government, private industry, and higher education entities on IT accessibility issues.

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Updated January 13, 2016 by Student & Academic Services